We’re the biggest outside London, inside London it’s too dark to read

A letter we sent to the Birmingham Post the other day, do they still have ‘letters to the editor’ in papers these days?

Dear Sir,

I think we all agree that there are times when Birmingham should blow it’s own trumpet, excepting of course those times when we need our hands free to bang our own drum, but articles such as Birmingham ‘most entrepreneurial city outside London(16 Jan) do us no good at all.

The article – based on data from Startup Britain – informs us that our city has more new businesses were registered last year “than any other city outside the capital.” Great news, for the second city: but it would only really be newsworthy if we weren’t — as we have by a long way the largest population of any UK city ‘outside London (over a quarter of a million more people more by any calculation).

Birmingham (population approx one million people) had 17,473 new businesses, Manchester (population approx 430,000 – less than half a Brum) registered 9,416. It doesn’t take an entrepreneurial maths wizard to see that England’s third city is doing a little better than its second by this arbitrary measure.

Startup Britain’s own data, (which is freely available to all) suggests that Birmingham was in fact the 16th highest area in Great Britain for new businesses registered per 1000 people.

Continue reading “We’re the biggest outside London, inside London it’s too dark to read”

Backstabbers Guide to Wolverhampton

In the slow news week between Christmas and New Years the BBC decided that it would be newsworthy to point out how shit Wolverhampton was. My first reaction was ‘have these people never been to Coventry?’

I mean our sister site, Wolverhampton: it doesn’t suck dog shit from the treads of a zombie’s hush puppies probably wont mind me saying that Wolvo is a bland wasteland of chain shops, a middlingly terrible football team with England’s most soulless and dispiriting ground and only a decent sized music venue to redeem it. But compared to the seventh ring of concrete hell that is Coventry, Wolverhampton is a mythical Shangri-La where lemonade runs from the taps and tramps vomit rainbows.

Its also not the first time Lonely Planet has had a pop at Wolverhampton or the Midlands in general. It seems we are the Lonely Planet’s go-to guys if they need quick bit of publicity. A bit like the Express resorting to anything Diana related when their figures dip, but instead of placing us on an impossible plinth, they piss all over our chips, our arms, and our hair.

These polls are bollocks, designed to appeal to lazy copy+paste journalists that regurgitate almost any press release that crosses across their desk. PR is journalism gone Sith and they know that a easy sound bite containing hyperbole like ‘fifth worst city in the entire universe’ will make a good and quick story.

It’s also worth bearing in mind here that the Lonely Planet brand has been owned by the BBC since 2007 and is one of the top four brands, along with Top Gear, Earth, and Doctor Who, that earned the BBC %17 of its revenues as reported in the 2008/2009 report. So essentially it was a news story about a story itself had published to publicise itself. And since when have the Beeb been allowed report nonsense? In fact that’s not what bothers me, its that the nonsense didn’t go far enough.

Suggested news stories for the BBC

  • Birmingham voted Britain’s most transparent city; ‘Is it made of glass?’ asks Liverpool
  • Tipton “World centre for diarrhoea”
  • Coventry is technically not a city and actually a lazy Black hole; ‘Spon End is just condensed Dark Matter’ apparently
  • Wolf and Bear baiting now legal in Birmingham; ‘if anything, they enjoy it more than we do’ claims crap wolf expert
  • Wolverhampton to host next years Wanklympics

  • Men from Northfield “UK’s most inconsiderate lovers”

Oh, that one might actually be true.

The opinions of Danny Smith do not necessarily reflect the views of the publishers of this blog, its affiliates, or any sane adult human beings. He currently lives in your cupboard, watching, always watching.